Max Friedman (March 15, 1996) is an American professional wrestler under the ring name MJF. He is currently signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW). In Major League Wrestling (MLW) he is a one-time MLW World Middleweight Champion and a one-time MLW World Tag Team Champion alongside Richard Holliday.
Professional wrestling career
Friedman was trained by Brian Myers and Pat Buck and made his in-ring debut in their Create A Pro Wrestling Academy in Hicksville, New York during February 2015. He also wrestled for Combat Zone Wrestling and Five Borough Wrestling during his debut year and went on to appear in numerous promotions across the northeastern independent wrestling circuit.
Create A Pro Wrestling Academy (2015-2017)
Freidman debuted under the ring name Maxwell Jacob Feinstein. His first match was at CAP Create A Pro Wrestling Show, where he teamed with Joe Bronson in defeating Luciano & Vinny Spano in a tag match. His next two matches in CAP were tag matches. His first singles match was at CAP Create A Pro Wrestling Show IV where he lost to his former trainer Brian Myers. On October 30 at CAP The Places That You've Come To Fear The Most, he joined the CAP Championship Tournament where he advanced in the first round after eliminating VSK. At CAP The Best Deception, he was eliminated in the quarterfinal by Tony Nese. Returning on January 31, 2016 at CAP Cap Bowl, Feinstein teamed with Joe Bronson to enter the Cap Bowl Ten-Team Gauntlet match won by Massage NV (Dorian Graves & VSK). During the September 11th edition of CAP, Feinstein & Joe Bronson entered the CAP Tag Team Championship Tournament where they advanced in the first round after eliminating Duhop & Grim. They later wrestled in a four-way tag team match to end the tournament and crown new CAP Tag Team Champions. During the tournament final they faced opposing teams Massage NV, The Breakfast Club (CPA & Francis Kipland Stevens) and The Faculty (Johnny Clash & Mark Sterling). The match concluded with Massage NV emerging the victors and new Tag Team Champions. Feinstein & Bronson met Massage NV at CAP A Pro Wrestling Show In New York State, in a four-way rematch involving The Breakfast Club and Da Hit Squad (Dan Maff & Monsta Mack). None of the challenger teams succeeded in winning the tag team titles from Massage NV. Feinstein returned on January 20, 2017 at CAP Hit Em Up in a match lost to Delroy Alexander. His final CAP match was on September 8 at CAP Feeding Times, in a four-way match against Ryan Galeone, Bryce Donovan and Delroy Alexander.
Five Borough Wrestling (2015-2017)
Feinstein on May 8, 2015 at FBW Die Trying, teaming with Conor Claxton, Jared Evans, Joe Bronson, Mark Sterling lost to CPA, Debbie Kane, Javier Nieves, Max Caster & Vinny Spano. He returned on December 18 at FBW Season's Last Wish winning a five-way dark match defeating Chris Payne, CPA and two anonymous opponents. Feinstein returned on February 5, 2016 at FBW Standing Tall in a 30-Man Rumble match won by Anthony Gangone. On April 29 at FBW Proving Ground 2016, Feinstein defeated Impact Wrestling star Caleb Konley. He returned on April 15, 2017 at FBW Proving Ground where he defeated Orion Dove. At the 3 Year Anniversary Show, Feinstein lost to fellow New York wrestler Papadon. At FBW United We Stand, Feinstein teamed with AJ Spectre and Bear Bronson in a tag match lost to The Elements (Iceberg & Pyro Pulse) & The Hurricane. Feinstein wrestled his final FBW match on October 20, 2017 at FBW For The People in a loss to Matt Macintosh.
Combat Zone Wrestling (2015-2018)
Friedman debuted under the new ring name Pete Lightning at the August 19, 2015 edition of CZW Dojo Wars, teaming with Hous Blazer in a tag match won by Eddy Blackwater & Josh Adams. During the August 26th edition of CZW Dojo Wars, Lightning and Blazer debuted their new tag team name Business Casual in a match won by team Gunz A Blazin. They won their first victory on December 12 at CZW Dojo Wars Mega Event, teaming with Penelope Ford to defeat team Gunz A Blazin. They went on to compete in many more tag matches during the course of 2016. On the September 7th edition of CZW Dojo Wars returning to his previous ring name Maxwell Jacob Feinstein, he entered the Dramatic Destination Series tournament losing to Qefka The Quiet. On October 5 Feinstein scored his first victory in the Dramatic Destination Series, defeating Lloyd Jameson. During the October 26th edition of CZW Dojo Wars, Feinstein challenged for the CZW Medal Of Valor Championship held by Frankie Pickard, in a Best Two Out Of Three Falls match but only scored one win against the champion, therefore not succeeding in winning the title. On May 13, 2017 at CZW Sacrifices, Feinstein defeated Johnny Yuma to win the CZW Wired Championship. He won his first title defense at CZW EVILution, defeating Trevor Lee. He successfully retained the title in further singles matches against Mike Del, John Silver and Ace Romero. On October 14 at CZW The Wolf Of Wrestling, Feinstein lost the CZW Wired title to Joey Janela. Two months later at CZW Cage Of Death 19, Feinstein won the title back after defeating Janela in a rematch.
Feinstein returned on February 10, 2018 at CZW Nineteen, where he won the 27-Man Battle Royal to become the new number one contender for the CZW World Heavyweight Championship. He also successfully defended the CZW Wired Championship against Alex Colon on that date. He was the last Wired Champion before vacating the title on April 14 at CZW Best Of The Best 17. There he defeated Rickey Shane Page to win the CZW World Heavyweight Championship for the first time.
Major League Wrestling (2017-2020)
Debuting on October 5 at MLW One Shot, Feinstein defeated Jimmy Yuta. Two months later at MLW Never Say Never, Feinstein defeated California wrestling star Joey Ryan. He returned on January 11, 2018 at MLW Zero Hour in a match lost to Brody King. On February 8 at MLW Road To The World Championship, Feinstein entered the MLW World Heavyweight Championship Tournament where he was eliminated in the first round by British wrestler Jimmy Havoc. Afterwards Feinstein went on to enjoy a winning streak, beginning at MLW Spring Break where he defeated Lance Anoai. He then defeated Fred Yehi at MLW The World Championship Final. He next defeated former WWE/Impact Wrestling star MVP at MLW Intimidation Games.
All Elite Wrestling (2019-present)
Undefeated streak (2019–2020)
On January 7, 2019, it was announced that Friedman was signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW) for a five-year deal. He debuted as a heel at Double or Nothing as a part of the pre-show Casino Battle Royale for an AEW World Championship opportunity. He lasted until the final two, before being eliminated by Adam Page. Friedman went on to compete in a four-way match against Page, Jimmy Havoc and Jungle Boy at Fyter Fest in June, which Page also won. The following month at Fight for the Fallen, he teamed with Shawn Spears and Sammy Guevara to defeat Havoc, Darby Allin and Joey Janela in a six-man tag team match.
On the first episode of Dynamite on October 2, Friedman defeated Brandon Cutler by submission. The following week on Dynamite, Friedman intervened in the attack of his "best friend" Cody by The Inner Circle, attacking Santana & Ortiz with a steel chair seemingly turning face. At Full Gear, he accompanied Cody in his AEW World Championship match against Chris Jericho. Cody lost the match after MJF threw in the towel when he was caught in the Liontamer and as a result, Cody was no longer allowed to challenge for the AEW World Championship again due to a pre-match stipulation. After the match, MJF turned on Cody by giving him a low blow and walked away. Shortly thereafter, MJF would find a bodyguard in the debuting Wardlow. On the November 20 episode of Dynamite, MJF and Adam Page would be the final two entrants in the inaugural Dynamite Dozen Battle Royale. The two would meet in a singles match on the following Dynamite, which MJF would win. Diamond Dallas Page then awarded him the Dynamite Diamond Ring as a prize for defeating Page. On January 15, 2020, at Bash at the Beach, MJF teamed with The Butcher And The Blade to defeat Dallas, Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall. MJF would rekindle his rivalry with Cody, and lay down three stipulations that Cody must follow to gain a match against him at Revolution which included not touching MJF till the match happened, facing Wardlow in a steel cage match and receiving ten lashes by MJF on live TV. On the February 5 episode of Dynamite, Cody took the ten lashes from MJF, including one from Wardlow. Cody would then go on to beat Wardlow in the first steel cage match in AEW's history on the February 19 episode of Dynamite to make the match against MJF at Revolution official. At Revolution, MJF would defeat Cody by pinfall after hitting him on the face with the Dynamite Diamond Ring. MJF would then enter a feud with Jungle Boy, defeating him at Double or Nothing with a roll-up. On the May 27 episode of Dynamite, MJF would unsuccessfully compete in a battle royal to face Cody for the AEW TNT Championship, being eliminated by Jungle Boy. At Fyter Fest, MJF and Wardlow were defeated by Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. MJF then moved onto a feud with Jon Moxley, campaigning against Moxley's championship reign and decreed that fans deserved a better champion. The two faced at All Out on September 5, where MJF was defeated, marking his first loss in a singles match.
The Inner Circle (2020–2021)
On the October 28 episode of Dynamite, Chris Jericho and MJF agreed to wrestle each other at Full Gear during a confrontational "Town Hall Meeting" with Eric Bischoff. Should MJF win, he would join Jericho's Inner Circle. The previous week, Jericho and MJF had participated in "Le Dinner Debonair", a meeting over a steak dinner during which Jericho and MJF performed a modified rendition of "Me and My Shadow". Journalist Wesley Morris later named the performance one of the "Best Performances of 2020" in an article published by The New York Times. At Full Gear, MJF, along with Wardlow, became members of Inner Circle after he pinned Jericho. On November 11 episode of Dynamite, MJF appeared for the first time as a member of The Inner Circle, where he gave a speech talking the struggles he overcame to get this far in wrestling, and then brought out a surprise birthday party for Jericho, the group's leader, which involved free tickets to Las Vegas and leading the crowd in a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday". On December 2, at AEW Winter Is Coming, MJF would once again become a number one contender for a Dynamite Diamond Ring after he and Orange Cassidy would be the final two entrants in the second Dynamite Dozen Battle Royale. On the December 9 episode of Dynamite, MJF would win his second Diamond Ring after pinning Cassidy.
On the January 20, 2021 episode of Dynamite, a tag team battle royal was announced for AEW Beach Break, with the winners getting an AEW World Tag Team Championship match against The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) at Revolution. The Young Bucks also participated and had they won, they could have chosen their opponents. Jericho last eliminated Dante Martin of Top Flight to win the battle royal, earning himself and MJF a title match at Revolution. On the February 10 episode of Dynamite, following weeks of growing tension between MJF and Guevara, Guevara attacked MJF following a backstage confrontation, which gave MJF a kayfabe rib injury. Later on in the episode, following MJF and Jericho's victory against The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster) in a tag team match, Guevara announced his departure from The Inner Circle. In the lead-up to their match at Revolution, MJF and Jericho attacked The Young Bucks' father, Papa Buck, and bloodied him backstage, vowing to take the titles off them. At Revolution, however, MJF and Jericho were defeated by The Young Bucks.
Leader of The Pinnacle (2021–present)
On the March 10 episode of Dynamite, MJF was kicked out from The Inner Circle after it was revealed that he was secretly planning to perform a coup of the group. However, he then revealed that he had been building his own group with Wardlow, Shawn Spears, Tully Blanchard and FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood), who appeared and violently attacked The Inner Circle. The stable would come to be known as The Pinnacle. At the Blood and Guts on May 5, The Pinnacle defeated The Inner Circle in the inaugural Blood and Guts match. At Double or Nothing on May 30, The Pinnacle lost to The Inner Circle in a Stadium Stampede match. At All Out on September 5, MJF faced once again Jericho, with Jericho's career on the line. After a false victory for MJF, in which referee Aubrey Edwards counted the pin for MJF but did not see Jericho's foot placed on the rope, the match was restarted and Jericho forced MJF to submit to the "Walls of Jericho", losing for the first time against Jericho.
Afterwards MJF began a brief feud with Brian Pillman Jr., Making fun of "sh*tcinnati" and his mother "Methanie", and talking to Brian Pillman Sr. yelling at the ground. At AEW Grand Slam, MJF defeated Pillman.
On the September 29th episode of Dynamite, MJF declared himself the top pillar out of 4 home grown talents with the other three being Sammy Guevara, Jungle Boy and Darby Allin, prompting Darby to confront MJF. MJF made allusions to Darby being straight edge due to his alcoholic uncle who got in a car crash and died while Darby was just a child and in the car, with Darby claiming that MJF can't break him mentally and refusing to attack. He would fight Allin at Full Gear, and eventually defeated him. After Full Gear, MJF would begin a feud with CM Punk, after Punk interrupted his promo. At Winter is Coming, MJF defeated Dante Martin to win the Dynamite Diamond Ring for the third year in a row.
- Finishers and signature moves
- Double Cross (Rolling Cutter) - parodied from Cody
- Heat Seeker (Rope Assisted Piledriver)
- Feinstein Armbar Special/Friedman Armbar Special/Salt of the Earth (Fujiwara Armbar)
- South Hamptons Plunge (Hammerlock DDT)
- Swanton Bomb
- Tag teams and stables
- "Better than You"
- "The Salt of The Earth"
- "The Two Year Vet"
- Entrance themes
- "Better Than You" by These Wolves ft. AK40Devin
- "Finance (Instrumental Version)" by Jincheng Zhang
Championships and accomplishments
- Alpha-1 Wrestling
- A1 Outer Limits Championship (1 time)
- CBS Sports
- Rookie of the Year (2019)
- Combat Zone Wrestling
- Major League Wrestling